Questions involving complex numbers, that is numbers of the form $a+bi$ where $i^2=-1$ and $a,b\in\mathbb{R}$.

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72
votes
9answers
4k views

Why $\sqrt{-1 \times {-1}} \neq \sqrt{-1}^2$?

I know there must be something unmathematical in the following but I don't know where it is: \begin{align} \sqrt{-1} &= i \\ \\ \frac1{\sqrt{-1}} &= \frac1i \\ \\ \frac{\sqrt1}{\sqrt{-1}} &...
37
votes
10answers
3k views

Why $\sqrt{-1 \times -1} \neq \sqrt{-1}^2$? [duplicate]

We know $$i^2=-1 $$then why does this happen? $$ i^2 = \sqrt{-1}\times\sqrt{-1} $$ $$ =\sqrt{-1\times-1} $$ $$ =\sqrt{1} $$ $$ = 1 $$ EDIT: I see this has been dealt with before but at least with ...
63
votes
11answers
41k views

How to prove Euler's formula: $e^{it}=\cos t +i\sin t$?

Could you provide a proof of Euler's formula: $e^{it}=\cos t +i\sin t$ ? thanks.
352
votes
35answers
42k views

Do complex numbers really exist?

Complex numbers involve the square root of negative one, and most non-mathematicians find it hard to accept that such a number is meaningful. In contrast, they feel that real numbers have an obvious ...
27
votes
3answers
6k views

Prove that $\prod_{k=1}^{n-1}\sin\frac{k \pi}{n} = \frac{n}{2^{n-1}}$

Using $\text{n}^{\text{th}}$ root of unity $$\large\left(e^{\frac{2ki\pi}{n}}\right)^{n} = 1$$ Prove that $$\prod_{k=1}^{n-1}\sin\frac{k \pi}{n} = \frac{n}{2^{n-1}}$$
28
votes
7answers
4k views

Do odd imaginary numbers exist?

Is the concept of an odd imaginary number defined/well-defined/used in mathematics? I searched around but couldn't find anything. Thanks!
47
votes
5answers
13k views

Prove that $i^i$ is a real number

According to WolframAlpha, $i^i=e^{-\pi/2}$ but I don't know how I can prove it.
384
votes
20answers
66k views

What are imaginary numbers?

At school I really struggled to understand the concept of imaginary numbers. My teacher told us that an imaginary number is a number which has something to do with the square root of $-1$. When I ...
42
votes
8answers
93k views

How do I get the square root of a complex number?

If I'm given a complex number (say $9 + 4i$), how do I calculate its square root?
38
votes
3answers
2k views

What is the value of $1^i$?

What is the value of $1^i$? $\,$
21
votes
2answers
2k views

Wild automorphisms of the complex numbers

I read about so called "wild" automorphisms of the field of complex numbers (i.e. not the identity nor the complex conjugation). I suppose they must be rather weird and I wonder whether someone could ...
37
votes
11answers
40k views

What is $\sqrt{i}$?

If $i=\sqrt{-1}$, is $\large\sqrt{i}$ imaginary? Is it used or considered often in mathematics? How is it notated?
7
votes
3answers
4k views

Proving $\sum\limits_{k=0}^{n}\cos(kx)=\frac{1}{2}+\frac{\sin(\frac{2n+1}{2}x)}{2\sin(x/2)}$

I am being asked to prove that $$\sum\limits_{k=0}^{n}\cos(kx)=\frac{1}{2}+\frac{\sin(\frac{2n+1}{2}x)}{2\sin(x/2)}$$ I have some progress made, but I am stuck and could use some help. What I did: ...
26
votes
9answers
41k views

“Where” exactly are complex numbers used “in the real world”?

I've always enjoyed solving problems in the complex numbers during my undergrad. However, I've always wondered where are they used and for what? In my domain (computer science) I've rarely seen it be ...
11
votes
3answers
905 views

How to raise a complex number to the power of another complex number?

How do I calculate the outcome of taking one complex number to the power of another, ie $\displaystyle {(a + bi)}^{(c + di)}$?
7
votes
3answers
2k views

Prove if $|z| < 1$ and $ |w| < 1$, then $|1-zw^*| \neq 0$ and $| {{z-w} \over {1-zw^*}}| < 1$

Prove if $|z| < 1$ and $ |w| < 1$, then $|1-zw^*| \neq 0$ and $| {{z-w} \over {1-zw^*}}| < 1$Given that $|1-zw^*|^2 - |z-w|^2 = (1-|z|^2)(1-|w|^2)$I think the first part can be proven by ...
16
votes
4answers
996 views

Relation of this antisymmetric matrix $r = \left(\begin{smallmatrix}0 &1\\-1&0\end{smallmatrix}\right)$ to $i$

I was reviewing some matrices and found this interesting if $r = \begin{pmatrix} 0&1\\ -1&0 \end{pmatrix}$ then $rr=-I$, also $$\exp{(\theta r)} = \cos\theta I + \sin\theta r$$ No wonder, the ...
15
votes
2answers
832 views

What's the name for the property of a function $f$ that means $f(f(x))=x$?

I can think of several examples of functions such that twice application of the function is equivalent to no application of it. Additive inverse Multiplicative inverse Fourier transform Complex ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

Simple Complex Number Problem: $1 = -1$ [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: -1 is not 1, so where is the mistake? I'm trying to understand the exact point of failure in the following reasoning: \begin{equation*} 1 = \sqrt{1} = \sqrt{(-1)(-1)} = \...
42
votes
10answers
4k views

What's the difference between $\mathbb{R}^2$ and the complex plane?

I haven't taken any complex analysis course yet, but now I have this question that relates to it. Let's have a look at a very simple example. Suppose $x,y$ and $z$ are the Cartesian coordinates and ...
6
votes
5answers
486 views

Evaluate $\int_0^\infty \frac{(\log x)^2}{1+x^2} dx$ using complex analysis

How do I compute $$\int_0^\infty \frac{(\log x)^2}{1+x^2} dx$$ What I am doing is take $$f(z)=\frac{(\log z)^2}{1+z^2}$$ and calculating $\text{Res}(f,z=i) = \dfrac{d}{dz} \dfrac{(\log z)^...
30
votes
3answers
3k views

What lies beyond the Sedenions

In the construction of types of numbers, we have the following sequence: $$\mathbb{R} \subset \mathbb{C} \subset \mathbb{H} \subset \mathbb{O} \subset \mathbb{S}$$ or: $$2^0 \mathrm{-ions} \subset ...
19
votes
8answers
8k views

Why is the complex number $z=a+bi$ equivalent to the matrix form $\left(\begin{smallmatrix}a &-b\\b&a\end{smallmatrix}\right)$ [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Relation of this antisymmetric matrix $r = \left(\begin{smallmatrix}0 &1\\-1 & 0\end{smallmatrix}\right)$ to $i$ On Wikipedia, it says that: Matrix ...
9
votes
8answers
2k views

What's the thing with $\sqrt{-1} = i$

What's the thing with $\sqrt{-1} = i$? Do they really teach this in the US? It makes very little sense, because $-i$ is also a square root of $-1$, and the choice of which root to label as $i$ is ...
7
votes
4answers
480 views

Complex power of a complex number

Can someone explain to me, step by step, how to calculate all infinite values of, say, $(1+i)^{3+4i}$? I know how to calculate the principal value, but not how to get all infinite values...and I'm ...
0
votes
1answer
226 views

For what values $\alpha$ for complex z $\ln(z^{\alpha}) = \alpha \ln(z)$?

For example, when $\alpha = 2$, $\ln(z^{2}) \neq 2\ln(z)$, because argument z is determined up to constant $2 \pi k$. So $$ \ln(z^{2}) = \ln(z) + \ln(z) = \ln(z_{k_{1}}) + \ln(z_{k_{2}}) \neq 2\ln(z_{...
19
votes
5answers
5k views

Understanding imaginary exponents

Greetings! I am trying to understand what it means to have an imaginary number in an exponent. What does $x^{i}$ where $x$ is real mean? I've read a few pages on this issue, and they all seem to ...
12
votes
2answers
3k views

Total ordering on complex numbers

Show that there doesn't exist a relation $\succ$ between complex numbers such that (i) For any two complex numbers $z,w$, one and only one of the following is true: $z\succ w,w\succ z,$ or $z=w$ ...
2
votes
4answers
157 views

Values for $(1+i)^{2/3}$

This question might seem easier than I'm making it seem. But how many values are there for $(1+i)^{2/3}$? Do I let $z=(1+i)^{2/3}$ so that $z^3=2i$? I'm asked to write each in polar coordinates and in ...
2
votes
3answers
3k views

Comparing complex numbers

If $a+ib$, $c+id$, $e+if$ are three complex numbers, than can we tell which one is greater or smaller between them? If yes, then how and if no then why not? Can somebody give explanation on this.... ...
18
votes
4answers
893 views

Inequality with Complex Numbers

Consider the following problem: Prove that for every set of complex numbers $\{z_i\}$, with $i$ ranging from one to $n$, there is a subset $J$ such that $$\left|\sum_{j\in J} z_j\right|\ge \frac{1}{...
29
votes
1answer
1k views

What is wrong with this fake proof $e^i = 1$?

$$e^{i} = e^{i2\pi/2\pi} = (e^{2\pi i})^{1/(2\pi)} = 1^{1/(2\pi )} = 1$$ Obviously, one of my algebraic manipulations is not valid.
13
votes
2answers
814 views

Complex towers: $i^{i^{i^{…}}}$

If $w = z^{z^{z^{...}}}$ converges, we can determine its value by solving $w = z^{w}$, which leads to $w = -W(-\log z))/\log z$. To be specific here, let's use $u^v = \exp(v \log u)$ for complex $u$ ...
14
votes
4answers
6k views

Do the real numbers and the complex numbers have the same cardinality?

So it's easy to show that the rationals and the integers have the same size, using everyone's favorite spiral-around-the-grid. Can the approach be extended to say that the set of complex numbers has ...
8
votes
4answers
4k views

Non-integer powers of negative numbers

Roots behave strangely over complex numbers. Given this, how do non-integer powers behave over negative numbers? More specifically: Can we define fractional powers such as $(-2)^{-1.5}$? Can we ...
9
votes
1answer
5k views

Is L'Hopitals rule applicable to complex functions?

I have a question about something I'm wondering about. I've read somewhere that L'Hopitals rule can also be applied to complex functions, when they are analytic. So if have for instance: $$ \lim_{z \...
2
votes
2answers
462 views

Division of Complex Numbers

Ahlfors says that once the existence of the quotient $\frac{a}{b}$ has been proven, its value can be found by calculating $\frac{a}{b} \cdot \frac{\bar b}{\bar b}$. Why doesn't this manipulation show ...
48
votes
19answers
6k views

Interesting results easily achieved using complex numbers

I was just looking at a calculus textbook preparing my class for next week on complex numbers. I found it interesting to see as an exercise a way to calculate the usual freshman calculus integrals $\...
45
votes
10answers
5k views

Is “$a + 0i$” in every way equal to just “$a$”?

I'm having a little argument with my friend. He says that "$a + 0i$" is, in every way, absolutely equal to "$a$" (e.g.: $2 + 0i = 2$). I say this is practically the case, so in every calculation you ...
21
votes
8answers
2k views

Refining my knowledge of the imaginary number

So I am about halfway through complex analysis (using Churchill amd Brown's book) right now. I began thinking some more about the nature and behavior of $i$ and ran into some confusion. I have seen ...
5
votes
2answers
519 views

Calculate the integral $\int_{0}^{2\pi}\frac{1}{a^{2}\cos^2t+b^{2}\sin^{2}t}dt$, by deformation theorem.

I want to prove: $$\int_{0}^{2\pi}\frac{1}{a^{2}\cos^2t+b^{2}\sin^{2}t}dt=\frac{2\pi}{ab}$$ by the deformation theorem of complex variable. Then I consider a parameterization $\gamma:[0,2\pi]\...
10
votes
4answers
671 views

Which step in this process allows me to erroneously conclude that $i = 1$

I was playing around with imaginary numbers and exponents and came up with this: $$ i = \sqrt{-1} $$ $$ \sqrt{-1} = (-1)^{1/2} $$ $$ (-1)^{1/2} = (-1)^{2/4} $$ $$ (-1)^{2/4} = ((-1)^{2})^{1/4} $$...
7
votes
2answers
268 views

An “elementary” approach to complex exponents?

Is there any way to extend the elementary definition of powers to the case of complex numbers? By "elementary" I am referring to the definition based on $$a^n=\underbrace{a\cdot a\cdots a}_{n\;\text{...
4
votes
5answers
1k views

How to combine complex powers?

Regarding this thread, it is not possible to combine complex powers in the usual way: $$ (x^y)^z = x^{yz} $$ There was mention of multi-valued functions, is there some theory that makes this all ...
1
vote
4answers
397 views

factor $z^7-1$ into linear and quadratic factors and prove that $ \cos(\pi/7) \cdot\cos(2\pi/7) \cdot\cos(3\pi/7)=1/8$

Factor $z^7-1$ into linear and quadratic factors and prove that $$ \cos(\pi/7) \cdot\cos(2\pi/7) \cdot\cos(3\pi/7)=1/8$$ I have been able to prove it using the value of $\cos(\pi/7)$. Given here ...
9
votes
6answers
590 views

Has anyone talked themselves into understanding Euler's identity a bit?

What does the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter have to do with the base of the natural logarithm and $\sqrt{-1}$?
3
votes
7answers
3k views

Simple applications of complex numbers

I've been helping a high school student with his complex number homework (algebra, de Moivre's formula, etc.), and we came across the question of the "usefulness" of "imaginary" numbers - If there ...
0
votes
3answers
76 views

Clarification regarding a question

In the question in the link is it compulsory that $A+B+C=\pi$ ? If sin A +sin B+sin C = cos A+cos B+cos C=0 prove that sin 2A+sin 2B+sin 2C =cos 2A+cos 2B+cos 2C
27
votes
7answers
7k views

Can a complex number ever be considered 'bigger' or 'smaller' than a real number, or vice versa?

I've always had this doubt. It's perfectly reasonable to say that, for example, 9 is bigger than 2. But does it ever make sense to compare a real number and a complex/imaginary one? For example, ...
3
votes
5answers
623 views

Fourier Analysis

I am interested in Fourier Analysis. But I don't get why the coefficients are choosen that way and why the Fourier series will converge to a given function? Can someone provide me simple information ...